THE FIX: Over-the-hill bananas, with their black-speckled (or totally black) peels and squishy flesh, may not be the best for eating out of hand, but they’re ideal when making banana bread. The soft flesh and broken-down starch from the ripened bananas mash easily and mix into the batter smoothly, distributing banana flavor and sweetness throughout. Unripe bananas lack the sweetness that develops as the bananas ripen, and the flesh will stay in chunks, leaving you with less overall flavor. To keep bananas from getting too ripe, stick them in the refrigerator or freezer. The peel will turn black, but the pulp won’t discolor.